200+ people from 23 countries came together at Sada Shiva Dham to celebrate the Guru full moon. On Saturday 16th it was also Shri Munirajji’s birthday. At the last minute Alok had to cancel his trip from India to join us due to the ill health of his wife Anuradha. We wish her health and healing prayers. Sanjeev Sarna (Secretary Haidakhandi Samaj, India) joined us for the programme, as did Ketan, Manisha and Pushnay from Mumbai/Bombay.
Bhaskaranand, the Dutch Samaj and the wonderful, hardworking Dutch team made the programme so easy for all the visitors, with their typically Dutch relaxed atmosphere and harmony, amidst the serene beauty of the forest around the ashram. It felt as if everyone became Babaji for each other – a mirror for our leelas and projections, a vessel for our needs as a family, a playground for our fun, lightness and love.
It can also be a tough, transformational experience attending festivals in our Haidakhandi family, but the world is also in a very tough and transformational time with local ‘krantis’ happening almost daily on each continent. Kranti is the Hindi word for revolution and Babaji used the words Maha Kranti to refer to world upheaval and transformation. The nurturing, purifying and recharging experience of being once more together as a Babaji family seems like soul food for each of us. We are the body of Babaji.
This year in Holland we had a number of events happening at Gurupurnima: leading up to the festivities there was a 5-day Next Generation Gathering of younger people at the ashram (see separate write up); there were satsang meetings in the temple, Kirtan and dance, a healing circle in the large marquee and, of course, the daily puja programme of paduka puja, aartis, Sapta Sati reading and fire ceremonies. The Healing Circles were held in the large marquee. Guyliano reports:
“These two magnificent healers were able to relax the body and mind with their tools of wisdom. If you ever have the opportunity to experience them, do not hesitate and join their healing circle at future Gurupurnimas.”
Pujari Writes: “It was such a Blessing to have the International Guru Purnima Celebration at the Ashram again. Together with our 25th year jubilee it became a special event: there was so much heart and happiness in the people and our beautiful Ashram was shining like the sun. The program went wonderfully, with moments of deep peace and meditation, strong Havan’s, Aarati’s and Puja’s. There was lots of Kirtan with sometimes magical dance expressions in the Temple. Many evenings kirtan continued deep into the night, in the small Dhuni. Organizing the event went smoothly and it was fun to share all the different duties as an international family. Although we tried to be easy about financial contributions it so happened that there was a lot of generosity under the devotees to support the ashram staff and donations came in that helped the Ashram to be almost free of debt now. Thank you all for bringing your heart, presence and service to Sada Shiva Dham. And know the door is always open.”
Hari Prasaad, Germany: “Most special was Babaji’s blessing, I felt his blessing inside and outside, like a reconnection. If I was lost in this world, here I became plugged into his energy again.
Ketan & Manisha, Bombay: “We are overwhelmed by the way the Dutch have treated us: the smallest things, all our comfort, making sure we weren’t lonely, that we didn’t feel left out. They’ve taken us to the forest and walked with us. They say that Indian people are much more hospitable but I see that they are even more so. The way they make us feel honoured is amazing. All the time we had people come and look after our welfare. Haidakhan is a great place with its particular charm, but coming here has its own beauty and charm. We would love more Indian people to come here and see how the Europeans do things.
On observing Mary from Haidakhan and Jai Shankar from the USA:
The magic of Heavenly Elysium came down to earth as a divine dance of tenderness, love, and sweetness, when this beautiful young man danced with our beloved Mary, 40 years his senior. They stole the show and spread their infectious ecstasy one sunny afternoon in the temple, while all looked on in absolute wonder.
A German devotee: “I became centred again through this GP festival and old wounds were healed. We all act as channels here and cross fertilise each other on the mental and spiritual planes, each one in their particular but perfect way. And the reason for this is that these festivals bring out the best in us and we become who we truly are.
Bhaskeranand, The Dutch secretary and ashram Manager: The abishekam puja clears the heart and brings light. That’s the main thing. As organiser for GP here, I’d say that the most important thing is that people are happy and many people quite spontaneously pick up karma yoga so we did not have to stress too much. Help was willingly offered. I had a feeling of an overview to start off with, but no control: I had to trust. And everything came together in the end !
Following the event in Holland a number of devotees travelled on to Sambasadashiva Dham Ashram in Sweden for a 3-day celebration with Bo Wahlström and his team and their Swedish devotees.
An Invitation: If you have not yet joined in the European Gurupurnima celebrations, please come along next year to the German ashram in Rieferath near Köln, for a few days – the love, camaraderie and festivities will feed you with joy. Next year Gurupurnima is on 9th July and the celebration will run from 5th to 9th July 2017. (See page 34). The European Gurupurnima celebrations take place at the four main Babaji Centres in Europe annually in rotation: Sada Shiva Dham in Holland, then Bhole Baba Ashram Germany, Schweibenalp in Switzerland and finally Cisternino in Italy.